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Trends 2022/2023: Will Life Sciences and Data Protection trends converge?

Trends 2022/2023: Will Life Sciences and Data Protection trends converge?


Trends 2022 / 2023:
Will Life Sciences and Data Protection trends converge?

January 3rd, 2022

As per Gartner’s predictions, modern data protection laws will regulate 65% of world’s population by 2023, up from 10% in 2020. Over recent years, we have observed a real escalation of the domestic data protection laws. To name only a few, the year of 2021 was characterized by the entry into of force of the POPIA, the LGPD and the PIPL. Next few years intend to bring similar developments, even more… This article aims to look at the trends to watch out for 2022 and 2023 with a particular attention to data protection and life sciences.

#1: What are the global trends?

In 2021, some countries took the lead by implementing their own first comprehensive data protection laws. This trend seems to be only the beginning of an escalation of domestic data protection laws on a world scale.
While this escalation shows a real involvement of countries in data protection, it raises new concerns since it creates fragmentated laws worldwide.
This fragmentation can particularly be illustrated with the data transfer’s cases:

  • Countries have their own adequacy decision list. Although most are inspired by the European Commission’s list, there are some differences (g., FDPIC’s list in Switzerland).
  • Some countries are developing their own set of SCCs (g., China, UK, Switzerland…)
  • Some countries have recognized the new set of the European Commission’s SCCs provided some national specificities are implemented through an addendum (especially, UK and Switzerland).

#2: What are the trends at the EU level?

Over the years, the European data space has become a siloed embryo framework.
Besides GDPR, three main proposals are currently under legislative process and are expected to enter into force in 2022 / 2023. Such proposals intend to complement the GDPR throughout their specific sector.

#3: Will Life Sciences and Data Protection trends converge?

While our personal data has become the new gold, conflicting trends are emerging between the life sciences and the data protection sectors.
On the one hand, data protection trends take a conservative approach by promoting privacy, control of our data and data minimization through a jurisdictional containment of data flows.
On the other hand, life sciences trends tend to be more liberal to foster innovation, open source, and the use of massive data through worldwide global collaboration.
Such paradoxical trends are even more problematic; innovation is the driver of the new services of our society. Innovation requires intense data processing while the GDPR restricts such processing and remains silent about this issue

What to expect now?

The Covid 19’s pandemic has been a real accelerator of health care innovation. To accommodate with the new challenges we face, the pandemic unlocked a new modus operandi characterized by flexibility and innovation (e.g., remote care monitoring, nurses’ services at home, telehealth, etc.…).
Obviously, these innovations have created new tensions. While GDPR protects our data, the pandemic has made them more accessible than ever thanks to huge data sharing through the covid apps, new databases
In this context, it appears that GDPR no longer fits the modern and new challenges of society . More than ever, there is a crying need to actualize the GDPR.
Article 97 (5) GDPR states that, where necessary, considering IT developments and state of progress, the Commission shall submit appropriate proposals to amend the GDPR.
Well… Isn’t it the right time to do so?

MyData-TRUST team is delighted to support every project of Data Protection in the Life Sciences Industry. Our teams of data protection managers, lawyers and ITs, all coming from the Life Sciences Industry, would be pleased to support you.

Aline Jouniaux

Aline Jouniaux

Data Protection Lawyer

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